Kathy Bernard - Publisher

“The eyes of Jehovah are in every place, keeping watch upon the
evil and the good”. – Proverbs 15: 3


One day our mother told us she had to go on an important errand and could not take us along.   She admonished us saying "I will only be gone for an hour or so.  Make sure the front door stays locked, stay inside the house, and don't let anybody in.  Then she gave us a stern, no nonsense look.   "Behave yourselves while I am gone.  Do you hear me?"  Another strong look….

As soon as the front door closed, thus began the fun for us pre-teens, and all fear flew out the window.  How easily we forgot the rules in our wild antics of freedom.   BUT tragedy struck as we unintentionally and inevitably broke and destroyed something very special that day and not one of us would solely take the blame.   

When our mother came home we tried to hide our actions, fearful of the punishment we knew was positively coming since mothers seem to know everything.   They are able to interpret the guilty, furtive looks on our faces which invariably meant we did something we were not supposed to do.

Today, some of us have that same fear when we do things contrary to what God has decrees is wrong.  Many times we have improperly conducted ourselves as Christians and try as we might to analyze or excuse our sinfulness, the built in jury that God has placed within us crops up to remind us of those sins, never letting go until it is rectified through God's forgiveness.   

Consider Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  They did not realize that they were naked until they tasted the fruit of the forbidden tree and hastily sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.  When they saw the Lord walking in the garden, they hid among the trees. The Lord God called out to Adam, "Where are you?"   Adam replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”  The Lord asked, "Who told you that you were naked?  Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”  (Please read Genesis 3)

Have you ever done something wrong and mentally kept your head down because you were ashamed to look up where we imagine God is watching?  Take adultery for an example.  Does this happen solely between two people or is someone else looking on?  The bible tells us there are three present.  You, a partner, and a God Who sees all things.  The same goes for abortion; you, the doctor, and again God.  Nothing is hidden.  “For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.” Jeremiah 16:17.

Is your sin a private action?  Something you do in secret, alone or with others?  And does God see what we say or do to others?  Sometimes we destroy the hope of others with an unthinking word when, if we took the time to see the damage, would see a large tear in someone's fragile dreams.  How about knowingly taking advantage of someone's ignorance for our own selfish gain?  Is this a hidden action?  If we reflect later on what we did, we know we should make things right and ask forgiveness for our callous behavior.  Even though no person witnessed it, God in heaven did.

The Lord asks us, “Can anyone hide from me in a secret place?  Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?”– Jeremiah 23:24.   And again in Psalms 139:1-7 it states,  “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit down or stand up.  You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.  You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.  You know everything I do.  You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.  You go before me and follow me.  You place your hand of blessing on my head.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,  too great for me to understand!  I can never escape from your Spirit!   I can never get away from your presence!”

It is Satan who prods us into sin, belittling what we know in our hearts is right.  If we listen to him, we will move ahead on feelings, needs, and actions in our personal lives, even at our workplace.  Some of us may try to rewrite God's authority, changing His guidelines for us to live by, but in the long run, it will prove faulty and an essential part of us is lost.   We know through the Holy Spirit what we are contemplating is wrong.  That “nudge” that the conscience gives is proof that God wants to protect us from what we want to do.  God is telling us to step back. 

Pope John Paul II speaking on sin tells us, "Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought."  Some of us knowingly sin, counting on God's goodness to get forgiveness.  But it does not work that way.  Humanity cannot outwit God and the sin becomes two fold.  The believing Christian must feel his or her oppression of sins committed and seek to rid themselves of their deliberate acts of transgression.  David speaks of this in Psalms 32:3-5, "When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.  Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.  My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat."   Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.  I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”  And you forgave me!  All my guilt is gone."

In her article in - There Is No Need to Hide  Lorraine E. Espenhain tells us this about human sin:  "When we slip and fall, we need to confess our sin, repent of it, and then move on.  The Lord wants us to acknowledge what we have done. He wants us to seek His forgiveness, and He promises that if we will seek that forgiveness, He will give it.    True, sin separates us from the Lord, but it doesn’t have to keep us separated.  If we will make our wrongdoing right with Him, our fellowship with Him need not be blocked.  If it is blocked, it’s because we have decided to put off confession and acknowledgment in order to go into temporary hiding.

"If you have sinned against your Heavenly Father, don’t put off the day of confession and repentance. His feelings for you haven’t changed. They don’t fluctuate with your daily performance. The Lord doesn’t love as man loves. Man’s love is based on performance and is rife with conditions. Man’s love is conditional, but God’s love is unconditional.  There isn’t anybody on the face of this earth who can live a sinless life before God. Solomon wrote, "Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin?’" (Proverbs 20:9). The answer to this is one."

In another article  "The Public Effects of Private Sin",  Lorraine E. Espenhain relates,    "May God give us the grace to remember this sobering truth the next time we decide to act in our individual lives, for private sin is a very public affair. It always has been......and always will."    Private sin affects the Church, our families, our communities, and all those who come into contact with us."  

Catechism 1874 states:  "To choose deliberately - that is, both knowing it and willing it - something gravely contrary to the divine law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a mortal sin. This destroys in us the charity without which eternal beatitude is impossible. Unrepentant, it brings eternal death.

No sin is secret.  The consequences of sinning in private will always have far reaching results.  Sin is a personal act, an act of liberty and license assigned to us all by God for obedience to Him.  It is a free will action given to mankind for use in loving Him, in choosing to follow Him, obeying Him in all things, and recognizing the price paid by His Son, Jesus Christ for our salvation.  Sadly, some of us are weakened by a powerful society.  But if we succumb to its pull of evil and sinful actions, ignoring what the Lord wants us to do, we will still be personally responsible, and accountable to the God Who sees all things.  He gave us all unrestricted power to pursue the things of this world, however negatively and adverse to biblical teaching, but we must be mindful of those, however higher up who will try by force or will, to turn one's vision away from God and into sin.   Therefore, we must be on constant alert, for the day will come when we all will be judged not as a collective society but separately, by a God Who sees and knows all things about us, even to the number of hairs on our heads. 

We are all blessed with a conscience.  Recognize the signal that comes to us through the Holy Spirit.  Listen to it; don't turn your face away.  Our salvation may hinge on what it tells us.  If we do fall into sin, we do not need to hide our sins in secret and private places for we have God's forgiveness to keep us in the sunshine of His love.  We can move forward with His mercy and clemency to reach our ultimate and eternal goal. 

“For God watches how people live; He sees everything they do." Job 34:21



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